The Washington Post reports that independent budget analysts are calling out President Obama’s gimmick-riddled deficit plan for what it is:
President Obama projects that his new plan for reducing the federal debt will save more than $3 trillion over the next decade by raising taxes on the wealthy and slashing spending on a host of government programs, from farm subsidies to federal worker pensions.
But independent budget experts said the blueprint that Obama unveiled Monday — which White House officials say would save more than $4 trillion when added to earlier budget deals this year — appears to fall short of his target. The plan also relies on an array of well-worn budget ploys that do little to advance the cause of bipartisan cooperation in taming the nation’s spiraling debt, the experts said.
According to White House estimates, the new framework would require $6.6 trillion in fresh government borrowing over the next decade. That’s only slightly less borrowing than projected in the budget outline Obama proposed in April.
Both parties, in their budget talks this summer, set an even earlier White House budget proposal submitted in February as the benchmark for measuring deficit savings. Against that standard, the new debt-reduction plan would save $3 trillion over the next decade — well short of the $4 trillion target.
The latest Obama plan “doesn’t produce any more in realistic savings than the plan they offered in April,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. “They’ve filled in details, repackaged it and replaced one gimmick with another. They don’t even stabilize the debt. This is just not enough.”
The most disheartening development, MacGuineas and others said, is Obama’s decision to count $1.1 trillion in savings from the drawdown of troops in Iraq and Afghanistan toward his debt-reduction total. Because Obama has no intention of continuing war spending at last year’s elevated levels, that $1.1 trillion would never have been spent.
Read the whole thing here. I discuss the gimmicks Obama used to count $1.8 trillion in phony deficit reduction here (without which his plan is just a $1.6 trillion tax hike). And the editors weigh in here.